Maritimers watch American politics and consume their media, so it's not surprising what happened Wednesday in Washington has sparked reaction in the region.

Born and raised in New York City, Mickey Fox recalls visiting the Capitol buildings when he was in Grade 8.

"It was magnificent," Fox said. "It was the shining building."

Now a dual Canadian-American citizen, Fox watched in horror as rioters stormed the Capitol -- an incident that played out live on TV and online.

"They attacked the core of the democracy," Fox said. "The Capitol building. And you were saying, 'Is this the end?'"

Fox says he's angry and embarrassed by what happened.

And his rage is focused at President Donald Trump, the person Fox says incited this violence while alleging election fraud.

"This man is a lunatic," Fox said. "And hopefully we have hit rock bottom in the U.S."

Pastor Rhonda Britton, an American living in Nova Scotia, says she knew beforehand civil unrest was ready to break out in Washington.

"Never in my imagination did I see a storming of the Capitol building," Britton said.

Britton says it's possible Trump could be removed from office even in these final days of his administration.

As for the people who occupied the Capitol?

"Yes, I can forgive what I saw yesterday," Britton said. "One of the things that I saw were misled people. People who have put their trust in someone who has led them down the wrong road."

Political science professor Jeff MacLeod says the historic magnitude of what happened cannot be overstated.

"We saw an assault on the symbols of democracy," MacLeod said.

MacLeod says he's fearful the political process in the U.S. is now damaged beyond repair.

"I am worried," MacLeod said. "I don't think President Trump, even after office, is going away."

Digital anthropologist Giles Crouch says social media played a key role before and during Wednesday's attacks in Washington.

"We saw Trump inciting his followers, but we also saw the use of it by lawmakers, what's your family and with broader society to say, this is reality," Crouch said. "And this is how bad it is."

Trump's accounts have now been restricted on several social media platforms -- not surprising, says crouch

"Trump crossed a line," Crouch said. "And it is a line you do not cross in America."

It's a line Crouch thought he'd never see crossed.

MacLeod was careful to not be too dramatic with his words and phrases, but he did say in other countries when people have stormed government buildings and resorted to violence in large numbers, it has often led to civil war or revolution.

He's not saying that will happen, but those images did add to his worry for those reasons.